Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a Christian conservative, is widely reported to be Donald Trump’s pick for a running mate.
Governor of the Midwest state since only January 2013, the 57-year-old is a lawyer by training and used to host a radio talk show, so his communication skills are strong and he is expected to add precious experience in Washington politics – and a dose of good manners – to the ticket.
And he knows his way around Washington: He held a seat in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013 and served as chairman of the House Republican Conference – the party’s third most important position on Capitol Hill – from 2009 to 2011.
Seen as disciplined and relatively discreet, Pence was apparently the favorite of Trump’s children, who exercise much influence over the brash billionaire and political novice as he campaigns for president.
US networks reported Thursday that Pence has already accepted the VP slot.
Trump had planned to formally declare his running mate pick Friday, but has now postponed that announcement in light of the deadly attack in Nice.
Pence’s qualities stand in contrast to the more unpredictable personalities of two other politicians who were considered by Trump: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former House speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia.
The current House speaker, Paul Ryan, whose relations with Trump are delicate, says he himself considers Pence a friend.
Smooth ruffled feathers
Pence’s connections could help to ease tensions with a Republican Party still having a hard time digesting Trump, and to raise funds for the campaign.
And Pence’s quiet, low-profile personality, shaped in large part by his Christian faith, poses little threat of overshadowing that of Trump, who values loyalty in the people who work with him.
Until now Trump and Pence did not know each other particularly well.
Pence is a conservative defender of family values, very religious, against abortion and gay marriage, and opposed to the idea of the US taking in Syrian refugees.
He has described himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”
As governor he has signed bills making it harder for women in Indiana to have abortions, with Indiana the second US state to prohibit ending a pregnancy because the fetus suffers abnormalities.
And he has drawn criticism for a law that critics say discriminates against the LGBT community.
Trump has met with Pence several times in recent days and campaigned with him Tuesday evening in Indiana.
On Wednesday, Trump and his children met with Pence, who is not well known outside of Republican circles.